A healthy, attractive smile starts with strong, healthy teeth. And when it comes to fortifying your smile’s defenses, fluoride is the unsung hero. At Honest Care Dental in Salem, NH, we believe that preventative care and knowledge is key to keeping your smile healthy for life.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral, just like calcium. And like calcium, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and proper development of your teeth and bones. When applied to your teeth routinely, fluoride reduces your risk of weak or demineralized spots, cavities, and tooth sensitivity. But how exactly does fluoride work its magic?
How Fluoride Works on Teeth
To understand how fluoride works, we have to understand the structure of tooth enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. Enamel is primarily composed of minerals, including hydroxyapatite, which makes it resilient against the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. However, enamel can weaken over time due frequent acid exposures from food, beverages, and bacteria.
This is where fluoride comes in. Fluoride seeps into the tiny pores or “tubules” that cover your tooth surfaces. There, it combines with the hydroxyapatite to form a more robust compound known as fluorapatite. Fluorapatite is highly resistant to acid attacks, making your enamel less susceptible to erosion and decay.
Are Fluoride Treatments Safe?
One of the most common concerns people have about fluoride is its safety. Rest assured, fluoride treatments, when administered by dental professionals, are not only safe but also highly beneficial for your oral health.
Fluoride has undergone extensive research and testing, and its safety profile is well-established. The levels of fluoride used in dental treatments are carefully controlled to ensure they are effective without causing harm. In fact, fluoride has been credited with reducing tooth decay by up to 25% in communities with fluoridated water supplies, according to the American Dental Association.
However, it’s essential to use fluoride as directed. Like any vitamin or mineral, excessive levels can be bad for you. Swallowing excessive amounts of fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which can cause white spots or developmental abnormalities in teeth. But when used correctly and at proper doses, fluoride is extremely safe for all ages.
Affordable Fluoride Treatments in Salem
At Honest Care Dental in Salem, NH, we understand the significance of fluoride in maintaining strong and healthy teeth. We offer affordable fluoride treatments during your dental checkup to help you keep your teeth healthier, longer. In most cases, fluoride is covered by insurance for children. But adults can benefit too, so the low price of a fluoride treatment is worth every penny (especially considering how it reduces the need for additional treatments in the future.)
How to Maintain Strong Teeth Post-Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatments are a vital part of your dental care routine, but they are not the sole solution to having strong teeth. To keep your smile healthy, you’ll still need to:
Brush and Floss Regularly: Brush with fluoride toothpaste and use floss every day to remove plaque and food particles that accumulate on your teeth.
Maintain a Balanced Diet: Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can erode enamel. Instead, opt for a diet rich in calcium and phosphates, which promote enamel remineralization.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dental check-ups with Dr. McMillan are crucial for detecting and addressing dental issues early on. He can provide guidance as needed and intercept when issues are smaller and easier to correct.
Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol: These habits can contribute to tooth decay and weaken enamel because of their mouth-drying side effects.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps maintain a healthy mouth by rinsing away food particles and bacteria. Stick to tap water instead of bottled since fluoride levels are regulated.
Consider Dental Sealants: Sealants can provide an additional layer of protection against cavities when your back teeth have deep grooves on the chewing surfaces.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
At Honest Care Dental, Dr. McMillan believes that empowering patients with powerful, preventative treatments is the best way to improve the oral health of our Salem, NH, neighbors. Fluoride is one key element. If it’s been six months or longer since your last checkup or fluoride treatment, call Honest Dental Care today!